Microsoft has started rolling out the Windows 11 “Moment 4” update. bringing Build 22621.2361 to the stable release channel. Being one of the biggest Windows feature updates of the last years, it introduces a plethora of new features aimed at enhancing user experience and functionality, with notable improvements to Copilot, Paint, and the Snipping Tool. The company also released a slew of new features for software developers alongside the Windows 11 23H2 Update.
What is new in Windows 11 Moment 4
The update brings a refreshed look and additional capabilities to several applications. Microsoft Copilot is a unified AI that combines Windows Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and Bing Chat. It appears as a sidebar in Windows 11, allowing users to control settings, launch apps, or answer queries, essentially serving as an AI-powered digital assistant. This integration into many parts of Windows marks a significant step in Microsoft's venture into AI, following the discontinuation of the Cortana app.
The Paint app, a long-standing component of the Windows ecosystem, has not been left behind, showcasing a modernized interface and enriched features. It now supports transparency and layers, bringing it closer to more advanced image editing tools like Photoshop.
Additionally, a new AI image generator, named “Paint Cocreator”, will soon be available, enabling users to generate unique images by inputting a text prompt and selecting a style.
AI upgrades for the Snipping Tool add text extraction and redaction, allowing users to copy text from an image and share it in other apps, and automatically redact and hide sensitive information such as emails and phone numbers from images. The Photos app also continues the focus on AI with a new background blur option, which automatically distinguishes the background and the subject in a photo, allowing users to customize the intensity and area of the blur.
Other new features
Additional features introduced in this update include an improved Windows Backup app, support for passkeys, a modernized File Explorer with a revamped interface, including a new “Recommended Files” Section. Microsoft also wanted to remove several legacy features from File Explorer, but decided against it after a backlash from users.
New are also native RGB lighting controls for gamers known as Dynamic Lighting, and the integration of Windows 365 Cloud PCs via Windows 365 Boot.
For developers, the update brings Dev Home, a tool for setting up Windows machines optimized for software development, and the ability to configure coding environments in the cloud using Microsoft Dev Box and GitHub Codespaces. The Windows Terminal and Windows Subsystem for Linux are also receiving some improvements.
Microsoft has also hinted at more features in another update planned for release in the fourth quarter of 2023, including a new volume mixer, native RAR and 7-zip support, app labels and ungrouping for the taskbar, and a new inking experience.